Dr. Cindy Barha, assistant professor, neuroscience

Dr. Cindy Barha

Pronouns: she/her


Assistant Professor

Faculty of Kinesiology

Full Member

Hotchkiss Brain Institute

Full Member

Libin Cardiovascular Institute

Child Health & Wellness Researcher

Alberta Children's Hospital Research Institute

Contact information

Web presence

Phone number

office: 403.210.8962


Office: KNB432


Educational Background

PhD Behavioural Neuroscience, University of British Columbia,

MA Behavioural Neuroscience, University of British Columbia,

BSc Honours Psychology, University of Victoria,


Dr. Barha is a multidisciplinary, translational researcher with expertise is behavioural neuroscience, neuroendocrinology, and exercise neuroscience. The goal of her research is to promote healthy brain aging by developing efficacious and personalized exercise interventions for cognition and neuroplasticity using both randomized controlled trials in humans and rodent models. Specifically, she is interested in determining who benefits from exercise by focusing on biological sex and genetics, examining when in the lifespan to most effectively intervene with exercise by looking at critical neuroendocrine transition states (i.e., pregnancy, midlife, older age), and exploring how exercise exerts its influence on the brain. She is particularly interested in the short- and long-term consequences of pregnancy for brain health and the potential role of physical activity.


Areas of Research

Brain health and exercise

Research focus is on exercise and brain aging in middle to older adults and the role of biological sex (males and females), genetics, reproductive experience and hormones.

Examines exercise-induced changes in the cardiovascular and immune systems and the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal (HPG) and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axes.

Participation in university strategic initiatives


  • Women’s Health Young Investigator Award, Women’s Health Research Cluster.
  • Early Career Achievement Award, International Behavioral Neuroscience Society.
  • Research Fellowship, Alzheimer's Association and Brain Canada.
  • Postdoctoral Fellowship, Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research and The Pacific Alzheimer Research Foundation .
  • Servier Young Investigator Award, International Congress of Neuroendocrinology .
  • Canadian Institutes of Health Research Postdoctoral Fellowship, CIHR.


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